WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S — The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) recently hosted in the U.S. Midwest a trade team from Saudi Arabia made up of feed grain importers and end-users. Members of the team learned how U.S. corn and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) are produced and sold worldwide, which is part of an effort to regain and maintain U.S. market share of Saudi grain imports.

As of Aug. 27, Saudi Arabian importers had purchased 1.3 million tonnes (51.2 million bushels) of U.S. corn for the 2014-15 marketing year, up 400,000 tonnes (15.7 million bushels) from the previous year at the same time. However, this year they have purchased a limited quantity of U.S. DDGS despite the fact that this corn co-product is included on the subsidy list that drives which feed ingredients are imported and used.

The subsidies are set based on the protein and energy value of each ingredient. Because of this, it is vital that buyers and end-users understand the U.S. grain marketing and handling system, including contract specifications and quality standards so they can import the grains they need, the USGC said.